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8 Tips for Effective Helpdesk Management

When users contact a help desk they are often already frustrated that their software or hardware hasn’t functioned as they hoped – whether through user error or something else. How their call to the helpdesk goes will either make them feel better – or leave them exasperated.


Customers basically want to seek a resolution to their problem as quickly as possible. While that isn’t always going to be practical – especially if their issue turns out to be complex and challenging – at the very least they want to feel as though they have been heard, been empathized with, treated respectfully, and are kept up-to-date as their problem is escalated.

To meet your customers’ expectations, your help desk needs to have the right mix of people, technical knowledge and customer service.

Improved help desk management will lead to higher rates of customer satisfaction. Here are some tips for improvement:

1. You need metrics

You can’t improve your help desk management if you don’t have a baseline that you’ve measured to benchmark against. By listing and measuring a set of KPIs you will be able to track the performance of your help desk operations.

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2. Implement service level management

Establish the services that your help desk provides and align them with the broader requirements of your company.

3. Respond to requests quickly and courteously

No matter how much work you have on or how stressed you are, responding promptly and politely will help set the tone for your client’s interaction and experience with the help desk.

4. Listen to users’ feedback and act on it

Surveying your users for feedback is critical to success. But there’s no point in collecting that data if you don’t use it to improve your service delivery.

5. Hire the right mix of staff

It can be difficult to train technical experts to have outstanding customer service skills. You can balance this by hiring non-technical experts with great customer skills who can easily learn technical aspects of the role.

6. Know when to escalate an issue

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to resolve an issue, it might have you completely stumped. For the sake of the customer, if you are able to escalate a more complex problem to an expert, you should do so. This way you don’t seem as though you are reluctant to fix their problem, or inept.

7. Write thorough notes on your customer’s tickets

Customers find it extremely frustrating if they call a help desk several times and have to repeat themselves and go back through the problem from the beginning. You can avoid this by ensuring that clear and comprehensive notes are taken when working on an issue. That way if someone else has to take over they will have a thorough understanding of the issue and steps taken to resolve it to date.

8. Learn from the past

Don’t waste time researching solutions to the same problems over and over again – implement a knowledge management system.

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